First round at RFD-TV’s The American in Arlington, Texas.
Won the round and the Top Four worth $100,000; $50,000 of it going towards his PRCA Pro Rodeo Earnings.
When I first walked in there I thought, ‘Oh man! This could be a catastrophe.’ I watched them run the steers through four or five times and they found where the catch pen was, so then, I figured it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal. But it was different.
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It’s the same as the NFR—same barrier, same boxes, same type of steers. It’s pretty much nod and ride. For the most part, you can just go behind them. That steer left sharp so, as soon as he left, I left.
I rode him at the Finals, so I got to practice some before and had a pretty good feel of how much to hold him in the corner so that he would leave off of the bang of the gates. He’s really easy to score when it’s that fast. He’s kind of on the muscle a little bit, anyway. He’s a little high-headed, so you kind of feel down deep in the saddle a little bit. It’s been helpful because I’ve taught myself into getting up out of my saddle before I try to throw my rope. I have to ride a little different and a little harder on him. It seems to give me something to think about anyway.
d) LEFT HAND:
It’s where I want it to be because [Cowboy] reads my delivery, so he starts to widen out pretty sharp. If I can keep my hand up and keep his front end up and pushing forward, then it seems to round the steer out pretty good.
e) RIGHT LEG:
It helps to keep his shoulders up and keep his butt to the left. It keeps everything framed up and keeps him moving. To have my left hand up, I need my right foot in him a little bit to keep his arch going and keep his forward momentum going.
Clay Smith told me that he had him at his house for a little bit. He said, ‘He’s not slow, but he’s one of those steers that you just don’t score.’ He handles really good and he’s light on the end of it and he leaves sharp. Jeff Hilton had told me, too, that the two paints we’re probably the best ones in there so, with him saying that, I figured he was pretty good. He was a really good steer for that setup.
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I was torn between which horse to ride. The yellow I had bought from [Kaleb] Driggers, I had bought it just for the winter rodeos and The American. When it came down to it, my gut kept telling me to ride Cowboy. I felt much more confident on him when I got there. I didn’t have my mind made up until it just about started. I had them both there. I was trying to talk myself into riding the yellow just because I had bought him for that reason, but my gut kept telling me to ride Cowboy, so that’s what I went with.